May 21, 2012

Crossing the River. ~ Jay Lander

A Unified Theory

In my search for a theory of the unified world I move as a poet, artist and philosopher towards a very intangible bridge. I seek union between a variety of dualities: self and world, self and godhead, male and female, inner being and outer being, me and you, self and other and so on. I know it’s possible to anoint our earthly heads with the power of higher thought––to reach up to a form of higher knowing. But in doing so I also step into a clear realm of being rather than merely extending my knowledge.

In other words, I become the bridge through my own efforts, or at least cause it to appear by my travelling. In a sense, with so many dualities to deal with in human life, ‘crossing the river’ becomes more than a question of being and knowledge––another factor comes into play.

A unified theory––or a great theory of everything––will have limited application. This is the irony. As long as it merely stretches out in concepts––intellectual forms––it will be a road with no end and will never arrive at the bridge. This intangible bridge has a very steep ascent; the road itself is level. Thus there is an element of the vertical and the horizontal in crossing the river. The unified experience of the world, however, is one which involves taking hands.

It is a transpersonal action of love. There is no other possibility. Love itself is the other factor which is involved in the reconciling of dualities. To bridge the divide––or the ‘divides’ as sketched above––is to positively reach out to the other. Everyone seeks love––it is the ultimate goal of our nature. In striving for unity in ideas we are really only stating the need for love in another form. It is union, arrival, completion. And there is a Spirit––a real Being––moving through it, from hand to hand.

I described my approach to this intangible bridge in the words below. I’m still looking for my theory of the unified world. More than anything else it lies in the hands––in the poem To Cross the River, I use the image of two people linking their crossed hands to form a symbol of eternity or infinity. This image also contains the horizontal and the vertical and suggests movement or dance.

The Bridge of No Making

As I seek to cross the bridge of no making, I know that I cannot go alone. For on the other side I will be one, and that is impossible unless there is unity. The arch is steep and sheer, the columns deep and the ascent as narrow as life’s way. The apex-stone is a diamond, holding both sides. But what lets me cross is the fact that our hands are linked––two with two, crossing in the middle, to form an unbreakable figure of eternity.

Do I know who I will cross with? Whoever it is has gone along life’s way with me. He or she is my making, my completion. The road shines behind us, the cool water’s breath rises up.

Who do I seek union with? My self, my eternal partner, my lover? On the other bank of the river the ground will welcome our feet, its green light deep and untroubled.

Take my hand and we will cross, our human stories twined in fairytale. There has been loss and distress, parting and sorrow. There has been the magical light of a faraway flower which holds our image. Who will I cross with? Who am I alone for? The crossing of the bridge is one part of the union. The far shore is another. What is un-separateness? Do we have a right to seek the unified? Must we not place hands on that diamond, cross and link arms together, understand that the bridge only comes from our own being?

To Cross The River

To cross the river only take my hand,

and we will find the bridge of no making,

where the sunlit water laps at our feet,

and the way we have journeyed starts to shine.

Take my hand and we’re ready to step now,

though we’ve never once stolen a moment

to say how we know that once we’re across

the long days of parting will be over.

Only take my hand––our names will be one,

and the bright lamp of love will go before.

Past the river the ground will know our feet,

with the cool water’s breath all around us.

The truth I speak there will shine in your eyes

and the stars will bear witness to our faith:

no one comes to this bridge except the lost,

who will find the hand to take them across.

Take me with you across the river’s glass,

over the bridge spun out of our clear hearts.

The arch is steep and sheer, the columns deep

and the ascent as narrow as life’s way.

For the stone at the apex, a diamond,

to shelter us with its rest and wisdom.

Take me with you, as I take you with me,

our four hands linked to cross without an end.

Editor: Lindsay Friedman


Jay Landar is a poet, author and storyteller. He lives and works in Kilkenny, Ireland. He has published a number of books – but recently everything he writes goes into his website, Light on the Page. Jay is also a children’s author and travels throughout Ireland telling stories and giving workshops in schools. Jay Landar works through worlds of fantasy, inspiration and insight, searching out the truth of the inner self and the gentle light it sheds on the struggles of our time. Romance, Truth and Beauty are the keywords of his work.

For more see Light on the Page:  www.lightonthepage.com

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